These days when I search on mobile I do notice the enormous amount of extra weight Google are placing on AMP content. I like that AMP stuff is snappy, I very much dislike the way it is confusing and downright pretty evil that this turbocharged content lives on Google servers.
I am super mixed on wanting support for AMP. On one hand, as an end user it is often the fastest content I can get. On the other hand it is sleazy the way Google places itself between you and your content and then gives extra bonus points for exposing content this way.
I am not particularly concerned about the “technical” cost of implementing AMP, much more concerned about if it philosophically belongs in the product and is something we should be encouraging. But… Google seem to be pushing really hard to get people on the AMP train.
This does indeed appear to remedy my primary concern with AMP, but I’m still not very comfortable with a vendor-specific standard.
Discourse also doesn’t stand to gain as much from AMP as the average media outlet does, since in our case the amount of “dumbing down” we need to do in order to serve AMP pages means you’re probably only using 5-10% of Discourse’s interactive features. I’d love to serve these types of user segments, but the fact remains that they’re an increasingly smaller minority.
My hope is that AMP eventually turns into a globally recognised standard for low-bandwidth, more secure (because simpler) web content, the same way SPDY paved the way for HTTP/2.
Considering Google rewards speedier pages in general, I’d imagine we stand to gain much more from implementing Service Workers before we revisit AMP.
(For anyone and those interested in #ux)
Perhaps Discourse could use AMP with topics, so that when they’re loaded you could easily scroll through the conversation (in a read-only format?), but then add an “Access Mobile Site” button on the page somewhere so you could like/reply in a different tab? That way it would just be an up-to-date snapshot of the actual topic.
Then again, the standard mobile interface works really well for these platforms…I’ve had no issues with it recently (or…ever…)
I don’t think anyone has properly identified a use case yet.
AMP sounds nice on the surface, but even light research uncovers a litany of issues, particularly if you decide to try and disable AMP down the line.
What would you use AMP for in a community setting? The first post in a topic?
How would discourse interact with the amp cache?
How would readers see subsequent responses?
If it’s only for content being replicated from a wordpress site, wouldn’t the native AMP plugin there be easier?
AMP gets placement priority, but it’s not a magic SEO bullet for communities. Discourse already has a snappy mobile experience, AMP can’t beat that. If it doesn’t add something meaningful then why use it?
I have done my own testing with AMP on my site, and haven’t really seen much advantage in terms of driving more traffic to AMP pages. After splitting up my pages into AMP and non-AMP I found the sum of traffic to the two versions of the pages roughly equalled what my traffic was before the split.
To be honest, I never analyzed the results there, but I do run adsense on both versions of the pages. This is only one section of a very large site, so I never took the time to parse out the ad revenue just to that area before and after.